Gaming Thoughts... 9/15/11 - Word of Warcraft

So my last post got me all nostalgic as I thought back to some of my earlier Blizzard titles like Warcraft, Diablo and obviously StarCraft. I spent a lot of time on these games. But like many people, the Blizzard game I probably spent the most time on was World of Warcraft. In fact, I've been a player on two different occasions.

I did not play right when World of Warcraft began, but I was not terribly far behind. I spent a good deal of time playing Alliance and got a couple of characters to level 60, and even went ahead and did the same for some Horde on another server afterward. I was really big into it, had quite a few epics and eventually got tired of playing and just quit.

I was an awkward MMO player though, especially that first time around. I almost never grouped, at all. I hardly ever did raids of any kind, which meant I was missing tons of content. Sure, I'd go back and run lower level stuff when I was bored/high enough level to solo it, but I just never really wanted to group much.

Fast forward a couple of years or so, and several of my old real-life buddies I used to play D&D with are all playing World of Warcraft on the same server. They wanted me to start up again and went so far as to chip in and get me the expansions. I played (very) heavily once again, and shot multiple characters up through the ranks again. I was even more diligent this time, having all of the crafting professions completely covered, tons of really good gear and even ran instances now with my friends. It was certainly a lot more fun the second time around, but still not ideal.

On the one hand, I noticed I was sinking just an absolute ton of time into the game. I play video games very heavily, and even I had to admit my time spent was probably unhealthy. The other thing is I still tried to be a husband, parent, full-time employee and found myself distracted when trying to group. There's no pause button. If a kid gets sick or dinner boils over, I have to hop up and deal with it. Now, my friends were pretty understanding - they know me, know my family, but it still made grouping with other people pretty much a migraine for me.

Once I was at the top of the food chain yet again, all that was left was lots of grinding. The sense of exploration was gone and it was just more of a chore than fun - and steadily sapping away some money every month to boot. So, this account eventually went the way of my old one - given to someone else I knew.

Still, when I look back on it, I still enjoyed Wold of Warcraft a good deal. I'm a big fan of RPG games. I played more than my share of computerized/console titles and D&D over the years. I run a MUD with my wife, which I usually describe as online, text-based dungeons and dragons. It's easy to see the influence MUDs have had on the MMO community over the years. They were the first MMO's - just without graphics.

Unfortunately the Warcrafts of the world have had their own impact on MUDs, and it fewer and fewer people invest in MUDs than they used to. Our own game used to have 50+ players a night, and now on a good night we see maybe 10. I think if my wife had gotten into World of Warcraft, I'd still be playing it today. I love doing things with her - the MUD is an example of that, but she tried it and just never took to Warcraft - but at least she did try it.

Still, I have a lot of fun memories from my time spent there. I've tried looking at some of the free MMO's out there like Dungeons & Dragons and Lord of the Rings - and I once won a copy of Guildwars, and while there's good things about each of them, none of them ever captured my imagination quite the same way World of Warcraft did.

Any of you reading ever play a MUD, or a graphic MMO? Did you stick to it? Were you a loner or a grouper? Do you still play?



  1. We havent played WoW for a couple years now, but when we were, hubby and I would play on seperate computers, and play together. We have no kids, and would plan dinner around our play time. Now, hubby playing 360 online, usually COD, and he tends to stick to a rule: no playing after 3:00pm on weekdays, unless he really needs to vent. This is to avoid the faggotry and name calling of the 12 year old kids who have no life when he has to duck out of a match to tend to chores, homework, the dog, and such. Today, we heard, in all honesty, a 12-14 yr old boy shout out over the speaker "Mom! Mom! Hey Mom! Make me a sandwich, I'm hungry" followed by, "ok, dear, just a minute." I can not abide by this kind of behavior, and we switched over to playing some LAN Firefight on Reach... I completely understand the frustrations of trying to game, and having a life to contend with. I have started playing Magic the Gathering with friends, because I can play that, and still work on homework and things of that nature. Especially playing multi-player, as it takes a while between turns.

  2. Good morning - and thanks for the comment! :)

    The no playing after 3pm for that reason cracks me up - I have a friend who basically says the same thing, though on days when he's having a rough day, I think he plays Halo w/ those kids just to shoot them repeatedly. :P

    I play some CoD and Halo - but most of the time I just mute the other players. Things like what you described w/ the kid? Yeah, that'd get on my nerves pretty quickly too.

    Magic: The Gathering - playing online or playing the actual card game in person? I have to resort to playing online now - none of my buddies I played with in college live around here anymore, but the pacing of it can certainly help free up things like time for homework

  3. "Any of you reading ever play a MUD..."
    Nope, never have.

    "...or a graphic MMO?"
    If by graphic MMO, you mean something like WoW, then yes I have. I bought Star Wars Galaxies day one. I can remember waiting forever day one to download, and get it up and running...but man, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the game. Like most WoW players probably, I took a break from SWG, but went back to the game for a while.
    In all, I probably played the game on-off for about a year, maybe a little longer. I had reached the highest level I could(90 I think), and knowing the struggles the game had, and the fact it's shutting down...doesn't make me a happy

    "Did you stick to it?"
    ^ On-off, 6 months at a time...

    "Were you a loner or a grouper?"
    Kind of interesting, I viewed myself as more of a loner, though I did go out with friends on missions...but I just enjoyed running around doing my own missions a lot of the time.

    "Do you still play?"
    Haven't played it in at least 4 years.

    As for WoW though, almost all of my friends that started on SWG migrated over to WoW at some point...they repeatedly wanted me to play it, so I did a "one week trial", but didn't even play it that much during the trial, so I never signed up.

  4. @Coffee -

    Not surprised that you haven't played a MUD. The funny thing is, you can see them as the foundation for a LOT of the MMO's out there now. Of course, their numbers have really dwindled over the last few years as MMO's have become more popular - and free in many instances.

    Star Wars was one title I never played, but kept looking at. I had a couple of friends who played it, though like yours, they converted to WoW eventually.

    I enjoyed the game itself, but the time commitment was something that just sort of snuck up on me, and I realized I was putting in way too much time. Had some very cool memories and adventures playing, but I haven't really missed my time away from it over the least year or so either.

    Thanks for the feedback you two!

  5. Luckily I've never been sucked into WoW or any MMO/MUD. I suspect it's best that I stay out of it for time purposes as I can understand your scenario of trying to have a life with many roles while sinking in WoW time that has to be done in "real time" with others.

    @Echo M:
    That 3pm rule is hilarious and sadly enough I know exactly what you mean. Many counterstrike rounds 'back in the day' were laden with childish faggotry regardless of the age. Though the after-school/weekend hours were certainly worse.

    I came across a perfect comic about this recently, but can't find it right now. Will try to find it soon.

  6. Compliments of marking it as a favorite on the twitters.



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